What are Dental Implants?
When you think about dental implants, it is good to consider how real teeth are constructed. Real teeth have a “root” structure which holds the tooth in bone. The crown portion of the tooth is the part of the tooth that you see in the mouth. Both the rooth and the crown work together in chewing and normal function. Your teeth are perfectly constructed to do the job we ask of them, but sometimes teeth are lost and we need to replace them.
Dental implants are a great way to replace missing teeth. Our dental offices in Richmond and Fredericksburg offer dental implant treatment. Dental implants are small fixtures manufactured from surgical titanium. These fixtures are surgically placed into the bone of the jaw, and they are allowed to heal in place. I often tell my patient that implants are an “artificial root” and reside in space where a root once was. Once your implants are placed, they will support one or more teeth, or possibly a denture. Your implants will help create a stable solution, and prevent bone from atrophying.
Are you missing a tooth or multiple teeth?
Call us today and learn more about dental implants!
Why should you Choose Dr. Lipscomb for your dental implant?
Dr. Lipscomb has completed hundreds of hours of training in the field of dental implants, and has earned the honor of Fellow from the International College of Oral Implantologists. Dr. Lipscomb is also a member of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry. Most recently Dr. Lipscomb completed complex dental training at the BrighterWay Institute in Phoenix Arizona. Dr. Lipscomb has also been a regular guest on dental implant focused trade shows and podcasts.
Do I need a Dental Implant?
Dr. Lipscomb and his Richmond dental team will be happy to perform a consultation and evaluation to determine your need for a dental implant. We often consider a dental implant to replace teeth when the teeth are expected to fail within the next few years. If it is determined that the teeth will get much worse, implants can be a good option. Dental implants can also be used to hold removeable dentures and partials.
Loose Denture? Try dental implants
Many people struggle with loose fitting dentures and partials. Over time the bones that support your dental will shrink and change, causing dentures to lose their hold over time. Dental implants can be placed by Dr. Lipscomb to support those dentures and securely hold them in place. Sometimes as few as 2 dentures will make a big difference.
Am I a candidate for dental implants?
Most people who have failing teeth are a candidate for dental implants, but not everyone. Dental implants need enough bone to hold tight, but recent advances in smaller implants have allowed more people to become a candidate. A failing tooth, root canal or broken tooth may make you a good candidate for dental implants. A loose or ill fitting denture may also make you a good candidate for dental implants. Call Dr. Lipscomb today to find out!
Can I get dental implants at my age?
Dental implants are more dependent on health and good bone more than age. Dr. Lipscomb loves to tell the story of how he placed and implant on a patient who was 101 years old! He had healthy bone, and a loose denture! Some medications may make it difficult to get a dental implant, so be sure to ask when you come in.
How much do dental implants cost?
Dental implants may seem costly at first, but consider this. In the past, a single missing tooth was often replaced by a bridge. Today, a 3 unit bridge would cost over $3500 and on average have a lifetime of 5-7 years. Dental implants cost about the same as a bridge and often have a much longer lifetime. Dental implants may improve the fit of dentures and keep them functional and fitting for many years. A well placed and planned dental implant should save you money over the life of the dental implant.
Will Dental Insurance Cover Dental Implants?
Some insurance plans will cover dental implants with Dr. Lipscomb. Please check with your carrier or call our office to check.
How long will my dental implant last?
Properly placed and planned implants can last several years. We are still treating implants that were placed 30 years ago. Implants still need care and maintenance. Dr. Lipscomb will let you know precautions to avoid and if you are a good candidate for dental implants. We often recommend a bite guard at completion of dental implant treatment to increase the longevity of dental implants.
We use the latest technology!
Dr. Lipscomb has been trained in the latest technology to treatment plan and place implants. We often use 3D imaging from a cone beam x-ray unit, and can use 3D printed implant guides to insure the best placement possible. This technology helps decrease healing time, and insure a properly placed tooth!
How are implants placed?
Dental implants are placed by a minor surgical procedure. A small incision is placed and the implant is placed in the bone via that opening. Dental implants usually 3-4 months to integrate (heal) before a tooth can be placed. The implant will be out of sight during the healing process, and you probably won’t know it is there. The incision usually heals in 1-2 days.
Are Dental Implants painful?
Dental implants are usually placed with the same amount of numbing that you would need to have a root canal or large filling. We often place implant with this local anesthesia, and nothing more. We do have sedation options if you care to have IV sedation from an anesthesiologist.
What type of maintenance do implants need?
Dental implants need the same type of care that we advise for your real teeth. Flossing, brushing, and avoidance of trauma will keep your dental implants healthy for a long time. We also advise wearing a bite guard at night to protect the implant. Implants are very successful, but not 100% as strong as a real tooth>
How long will it take to get a tooth?
Different situations call for different dental implant treatments. Sometimes we are replacing a failing tooth that needs to be extracted. Sometimes we can remove the tooth and place an implant directly afterwards. This process will require the implant to heal for 3-9 months before placing a tooth on the implant.
Sometimes the implant cannot be placed directly after the extraction. In this scenario, we will often place a bone graft in the place of the tooth to allow the bone to rebuild. This bone must heal for 4-9 months, then the implant can be placed. Once again we will wait 3-6 months for the implant to heal before placing the tooth.
If a tooth has been missing for a while, and plenty of bone is present, and implant can be placed immediately and then allowed to heal for 3-4 months.
Why do implants take so long?
Dental implants rely on the biology of bone. If you have ever broken a bone, you know that it takes a long time in a cast to heal. The same goes for the bone in your mouth. During the healing process, the bone heals and integrates into the surface of the implant to create a very strong bond. This makes the implant very stable. Unfortunately this process takes several months and there is not much we can do to speed it up.
Get Started with your Dental Implant Today!
- Call one of our offices in Richmond or Fredericksburg
- Schedule a consultation with Dr. Lipscomb
- X-rays and imaging will be used to determine if you are a candidate
- Implant placement appointments will be set!
- Get ready for new teeth!